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Old 15th November 2009, 15:07   #1
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Default IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

The following report published in rediff.com is an eye opener

When MBAs aspire to become clerks: Rediff.com Business

Here is an excerpt from the report:

And last week's report on Japanese auto major Toyota [ Images ] tying up with 40 more Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) in addition to the existing 16 was hugely welcome. Under its technical education programme, Toyota has prepared a one-year syllabus on body and paint repair in association with its dealers. Under a tie-up with the Delhi [ Images ] Government's Department of Training and Technical Education for this purpose, Toyota has synchronised the curriculum with the selected industrial training institute's syllabus in the second year of the course.

Toyota dealerships provide on-the-job training every week, spread over a period of six months, so that the students can get a firsthand feel of Toyota technology and service systems. As a part of the curriculum, Toyota will train the instructors of the institutes in the latest technology used by the company. The eventual plan is to reach out to over 500 technical institute students every year through this programme. The students are free to join other companies if they want to. India was the 53rd country where Toyota introduced such a programme. And nothing could be a better win-win proposition, both for the Japanese car major and students in India who desperately needed such initiatives to make themselves employable.
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Old 15th November 2009, 17:53   #2
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It is a wellknown fact. I don't know about MBA graduates, but I would put the employability of fresh IT graduates of Karnataka at 10%, not more. I speak as an employer who has been hiring freshies since 5 years.
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Old 15th November 2009, 19:37   #3
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Yes, I tend to agree with Samurai, but in general for all engineering graduates (not just limited to Karnataka)

As per Wikipedia,

Engineering is the discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying technical, scientific and mathematical knowledge to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that
safely realize a desired objective or inventions.

One who practices engineering is called an engineer

When i see a fresh engineering graduate today, most probably, i wont be be able to see the proof points against this definition.

all the guy / gal might have is a degree certificate with no/limited knowledge of the subject. Forget practical knowledge, but even theoritical knowledge is missing most of the time.

another trend i have seen is no respect for the 4 years of education,
i have seen that people who have put in 4 years of effort / money / time do not want to persue the engineering discipline, but want to go for MBA or other commercial qualification w/o applying the previously learnt subjects. most common reason given is "i do not enjoy technical work or do not have work-life balance or do nto have growth prospects"

in my view, a guy who does not enjoy (= learn) during his 4 years technical studies will not probably learn or enjoy after his 2 years of MBA studies and end up with a mediocre (= no/zero) performance

i remember during 1996-1997, the IT companies used to recruit anyone who had a 80+ marks in 10th/12th standard to be used in the Y2K projects

but now with similar grades one hardly makes the cut.

there is no place for mediocracy in thsi competitive world, more so in future as our economy grows, Automoation would increase, technology becomes cutting edge, opportunities would shrink.

i feel the need for tightening the education norms not entry criterions, but passing out criterions. also i feel the need for hands on experience (practice school as in for Medicine) to be mandetory for engineering as well.

hope and wish this happens by the time my daughter grows up and joins the stream.
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Old 15th November 2009, 20:32   #4
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I wrote a blog comparing indian and american education systems (link on my homepage). While our school children may look ultra smart in maths, by the time they reach college they have lost all the charm. not because they spent it in childhood, but because our education system doesn't care for all round development. Not to mention other factors affecting college education like politics, strkes, job scene, subsidized education etc.

here is a typical phenomenon that kills our students' intellect. boldened and highlighted formulae in text books. 90% of us directly jump to the formulae which wil be used to solve the sums and memorize it by heart. nobody cares to read the text along with it.

Also I clearly remember how my fellow students would collect last 5 years papers from photocopy shops outside the college (already neatly printed and arranged in form of a booklet), go after one of the top 5 students to identify a similar problem from the book, replace the numerical values and memorize the solution, and come back with passing marks completing the course. 6 months of semester studies completed in 2 days!

I guess we are too result oriented. too focussed.
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Old 15th November 2009, 20:50   #5
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The fault belongs to both sides. Engineering institutions are not there to provide vocational training. They're there to make engineers. The definition is there in starvegabond's post.On one side, there is a HUGE shortage of staff -most engineering colleges exist just to cash in on the education boom. Just like they learn by heart in school, 'engineers' mug up what's there in the texts and lecture notes. Yes, the average 'engineer' graduation out of these institutions has a degree. but the engineering aspect of it is not worth the paper it is printed on. Didnt help that the average lecturer was dumber than the average student ( they were our own senior batch folks who couldnt get jobs in IT companies like their batchmates )

On the other hand, a lot of these institutions crying hoarse about how unemployable engineering graduates are, have their own agenda, and want vocational training added to college syllabi. My organization has a program via which they get to make the college staff for free, and for funds/grants which we have yet to materialize teach the students the material they would have to otherwise teach us once we're hired.

They want kids to learn IDE's and tools which help mostly their own cause, and don't do much to the engineering education bit. I can't see how becoming proficient in , say MS office or visual studio, or frontpage helps you become a better engineer. I could do just fine with textpad. What's the point of teaching a student how to implement UART in VHDL before he learns a UART inside out? What's the point of teaching someone how to use java functions without teaching him how to write functions, and ie the point of using functions? Its like making students learn about IC's without learning about discrete devices. Make them think of them as a black box which works as per its datasheet specs ( or worse, what they were taught in class)

Someone trained the above way, on a need to know basis, might be very employable. But sadly. not much of an engineer

Last edited by greenhorn : 15th November 2009 at 20:54.
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Old 15th November 2009, 21:12   #6
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We are proud that our country is the second or third Largest producer of Scientists and Engineers in the world.

If you look at the number of inventions made, or patents filed/granted, then the story is different

if one looks at the Quality of Products (be it Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, IT, Electronics, Chemical etc), one can easily understand the expertise that has gone into it. We can count the truely Indian Contributions on our finger tips.

one of the basic reason is our education system does not encourage OWN THINKING, We generally do not encourage questioning by our kids, we want them to be very disciplined and just do what we want them to do.

Most of us (sometimes including yours truly) also wants quick results w/o much efforts/hardwork, Somehow, Shortcut, Jugaad, kaisa bhi karo (KBK) are the processes we use in our day-today life. this generally reflects in everything we do.

This continues as the kid grows up and ends up spoon fed, minus lack of analytical skills, thinking-conceptualizing abilities and continue to follow what he has seen his/her elder has been doing.

Teaching a kid to think through, analyze and understand on his/her own are extreemly critical, which i am trying to follow in my personal life.
how far i would be successful, time will tell.

Last edited by StarVegabond : 15th November 2009 at 21:14.
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Old 15th November 2009, 21:13   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
The fault belongs to both sides. Engineering institutions are not there to provide vocational training. They're there to make engineers....
They aren't making any.

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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
On the other hand, a lot of these institutions crying hoarse about how unemployable engineering graduates are, have their own agenda, and want vocational training added to college syllabi. My organization has a program via which they get to make the college staff for free, and for funds/grants which we have yet to materialize teach the students the material they would have to otherwise teach us once we're hired.

They want kids to learn IDE's and tools which help mostly their own cause, and don't do much to the engineering education bit. I can't see how becoming proficient in , say MS office or visual studio, or frontpage helps you become a better engineer. I could do just fine with textpad. What's the point of teaching a student how to implement UART in VHDL before he learns a UART inside out? What's the point of teaching someone how to use java functions without teaching him how to write functions, and ie the point of using functions? Its like making students learn about IC's without learning about discrete devices. Make them think of them as a black box which works as per its datasheet specs ( or worse, what they were taught in class)
Which are these institutes with dark agendas? Are you referring to Microsoft, Oracle, etc? Anyway, I don't care about such IDEs or knowledge about certain package. It can be taught in matter of days.

I am talking about fundamentals. What makes me sick is that most fresh graduates don't know how to write a simple 10 line C program in notepad. And some these people include distinction students and rank holders in computer science or information science. Reminds of my uncle in PWD (now retired) who used to tell me that most of PWD engineers these days can neither read nor write engineering drawings.
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Old 15th November 2009, 21:33   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StarVegabond View Post
Engineering is the discipline, art and profession of acquiring and applying technical, scientific and mathematical knowledge to design and implement materials, structures, machines, devices, systems, and processes that
safely realize a desired objective or inventions.

One who practices engineering is called an engineer.
In my personal opinion, engineering is somewhat different in practice.

It is just a "filter". I.e. this guy beat lakhs/thousands of students to get into IIT/REC or most Govt engineering collages.

That implies, he either knows his stuff (physics,maths ,chem) or is really hard working. In either case, he/she is probably desirable for employers.

In such collages, campus interviews are actually fun. Most students know the basics and can handle meaningful discussions on technical topics.

Situation changes drastically in collages where admission is not that difficult. Out of a batch of 60, I assume that only 4 - 5 students are employable out of box. So, even if we get that number I consider that campus visit successful.
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Old 15th November 2009, 22:43   #9
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As a person currently involved in the whole recruitment process, I would like to clear things up from the student's end.

Now I study in one of the best engineering colleges in India (DCE), but the fact remains that the stuff I am taught is just not what companies want.

What sort of employment can you offer to guys who get hear of transistors as the latest ground-breaking development from their professors?

None of us can be fit into the industrial cog right away. What we do bring to the table is intelligence and a will to learn and learn fast.

I believe no company should have a problem with that. After all no course in the world produces students perfectly suited for a job.

Also...@ Samurai... job please!
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Old 15th November 2009, 23:18   #10
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i absolutely agree with Ess.
im also a student right now and do agree that most of the syllabus is outdated.
yes i agree majority of the students coming out of colleges are not "employable material". But some of the company's keep their bars too high some company's ask for 10th ,12 and BE aggregate to be above 75-80 etc.
about my own placement etc , I'm as mentioned by someone a guy who study's 6months portions in 2 days. I know it will be very difficult for me to get placed etc but think of it from my Point of view, A guy who can study a 6 month course and clear it can easily take on most tasks that arise when employed.

Im sure many people will disagree with me.
Anyways i think there are many students on this forum and we can use this thread for proper guidance for all of us to a better future.

Last edited by vinaydas : 15th November 2009 at 23:20.
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Old 15th November 2009, 23:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
What makes me sick is that most fresh graduates don't know how to write a simple 10 line C program in notepad.
This is very true. My cousin bro who done BCA and joined C-DAC. For everyones surprise he was the only one in that batch with BCA qualification rest of all are B.Tech guys. After the completion of the course only 2 who managed to get the small job. One is my brother and other is a Topper in the class.

The Qualification and Marks doesn't make a good Software guy. Its the knowledge what you really learned from these matters.
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Old 16th November 2009, 00:20   #12
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Now I study in one of the best engineering colleges in India (DCE), but the fact remains that the stuff I am taught is just not what companies want.
I was singing the same tune 20 years back. However, that is not going you help you.

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None of us can be fit into the industrial cog right away. What we do bring to the table is intelligence and a will to learn and learn fast.
That's fine, but how are you going to prove it?

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Originally Posted by EssYouWe View Post
Also...@ Samurai... job please!
You are too far away. Our recruitment happens only at our premises.

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i absolutely agree with Ess.
im also a student right now and do agree that most of the syllabus is outdated.
And that will remain so. Do you know why? Most of the professors and lecturers in our country can't teach you anything if the syllabus is updated. They are teaching the same stuff they learnt in college. So they keep the syllabus old to suit their needs.

But you have to keep one thing in mind. Don't confuse engineering with technology. The guy who drives a juggad Jeep on a regular basis would have lot better understanding of automobiles, than a guy who drives the latest SUV. I know this one by first hand experience. Your syllabus may be teaching you Jeep so that you can easily pickup the basics of automobile engineering. It will setup the foundation to understand latest automobile technology. Therefore, don't reject everything that is old, there are merits in old stuff. On the other hand if they are teaching chariot building, then you have real cause for complaint.

But forget all that. You can't change what your colleges do. The real question is what are you doing? Unlike in my times, you have lot more options to update your knowledge. All of you have powerful home PCs with broadband connections. There are open source projects/products in every possible field. All the RFCs are freely downloadable. Pick an area you like, learn some interesting stuff, experiment on your PCs, and then add that to your resume. But 99% of the students don't do anything outside of their syllabus. So stand apart, get noticed.

Once you get into that habit, it can really help you throughout your career, provided you work for an employer who respects that. If they don't, keep looking until you find one.
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Old 16th November 2009, 02:03   #13
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But some of the company's keep their bars too high some company's ask for 10th ,12 and BE aggregate to be above 75-80 etc.

I'm as mentioned by someone a guy who study's 6months portions in 2 days. I know it will be very difficult for me to get placed etc but think of it from my Point of view, A guy who can study a 6 month course and clear it can easily take on most tasks that arise when employed.
in that case you need a fast track 6 month B.Tech course

ok, it's none of your fault. as I said, we are totally result oriented. Look the the recruiting companies. Since there is a supply, they keep on raising the demands by asking for 10th, 12th marks, so they get the best of the students. Also, they have to interview less of them. So all you do is ensure you get a certain percentage of marks in your term exams, by hook or by crook. (myself included. when one's career is at stake, one can not take a chance anywhere. I bought those papers too. Just not in the last week of semester )

and then there are classmates and seniors who keep reminding you that anything you study here will be a waste of time and never be used in real world, so let's have drinks and a nightout instead (now where is that nostalgic smiley)

coming back to employbility, that's what exactly what we were saying. Graduates with shiny degress with no knowledge or skills have flooded the market. Unless you can claim that you have learnt everything in your book by cramming in those two days. If not, you probably have proven the fact that you can take up challenges as they arise, just as you claim. But you are not really an engineer an employer is looking for.
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Old 16th November 2009, 08:30   #14
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None of us can be fit into the industrial cog right away. What we do bring to the table is intelligence and a will to learn and learn fast.

I believe no company should have a problem with that. After all no course in the world produces students perfectly suited for a job.
If you can substantiate it during recruitment process, this is more than enough for most recruiters.

Other criteria like % are there mostly for logistics. We will have at most 6 - 7 interviewers. With that a limited number of interviews can be conducted. Thats where things like limiting candidates based on Online tests / GPA kick in.

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Old 16th November 2009, 08:34   #15
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This is not a new fact. Its something that's always existed. The main problems that contiue to contribute to this problem:

1. Lack of direction or options: The system is such that you either have to become a BE/BTech or MBBS. There is no mechanism towards aligning students to their personal career choices.

2. Lack of exposure / disconnect with reality: There is no correlation to college culture/curriculum and industry requirements. Consequently, graduates always come out with a very narrow understanding of corporate culture.

3. Do/Die: Probably the most important factor resulting in point 1. An Indian, due to lack of government support mechanisms, has to get a job or he's literally on the streets. This is a very formidable fear that has to be addressed at any time in a career.
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